The Adoption of a Resolution by the United Nations Security Council concerning North Korea’s Ballistic Missile Launch (Statement by Foreign Minister Taro Kono)
December 23, 2017
- Japan highly appreciates that, on December 23 (afternoon of December 22, New York time), the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)unanimously adopted the robust United Nations Security Council(UNSC) Resolution 2397 (PDF) at the UNSC under Japan’s presidency, which further enhances the sanctions measures against North Korea to an unprecedented level, in response to the launch of what appears to be a new type of the ballistic missile with the range of an ICBM on November 29 and other activities.
- The launch of the ballistic missile by North Korea on November 29 demonstrated clearly once again that North Korea poses a global threat to all UN Member States. In addition, the advancement of its nuclear program fundamentally threatens the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime. It is totally unacceptable that, in disregard of the views of the international community, North Korea repeatedly conducts ballistic missile launches in violation of a series of relevant UNSC resolutions and the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration and against the spirit of the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks.
- The UNSC Ministerial-Level Meeting on the North Korean issue on December 15, which I presided, sent a unified message that the international community will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, and that the full implementation of relevant UNSC resolutions by every UN Member States is essential. It is very significant that, following this meeting, under the presidency of Japan, the UNSC unanimously adopted a resolution that reflects the will of the entire international community to continue to apply greater pressure on North Korea as long as it continues to push forward its nuclear and missile development.
- Building on other relevant resolutions, the Resolution 2397 is a significantly robust resolution that not only further restricts the supply in the oil sector and imposes stricter procedures through the establishment of reporting obligations, but also includes measures virtually eradicating North Korea’s foreign currency revenues through exports, the repatriation of North Korean overseas workers within 24 months and severer measures related to maritime transport. Even after completing its term as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, Japan will continue to call upon all United Nations member states to fully implement the relevant UNSC resolutions, including the new resolution, while working closely with the relevant countries including the United States.
- In order to corner North Korea to change its policies, it is essential for Japan to carry out resolute and firm diplomacy and cooperate closely among Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK as well as the relevant countries, including China and Russia, to fully implement relevant UNSC resolutions, enhancing international community’s pressure on North Korea to the maximum degree. With regard to the abductions issue, it is indispensable to urge North Korea to make a decision for the early resolution of the abductions issue, using pressure of the international community as leverage against North Korea, while at the same time urging its implementation of the Stockholm Agreement. Japan will make its utmost efforts for the resolution of North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues as well as the abductions issue, which is important above all issues.